I made these sensory bottles for my baby to look at, hold, shake, and of course put in her mouth. I filled smaller bottles so that they were easy for her to hold. They were a great thing to bring on car rides and they were great option for tummy time too.
As she got older, the bottles became a great addition to the play kitchen and became pretend spices. So much fun from these easy sensory bottles and they became a great tool for language development for my toddler.
You can make your own sensory bottles in a few easy steps. There are so many different ways and combinations of things you can use to make your own. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve seen these made with so many different bottles. Use what you have on hand like an empty water bottle or for older children a Voss water bottle is a popular choice.
Because these simple sensory bottles are filled with small items, you will need to glue the top on. I used a small dab of super glue on the inside because I knew she’d put them in her mouth. You can also use clear glue or a hot glue gun.
Sensory Bottle Fillers
Here are a few popular choices for filling sensory bottles:
- pom poms
- pony beads
- pipe cleaners
- ocean in a bottle (equal parts oil and water with drops of food coloring)
- water beads
- loom bands
- colored sand
- alphabet beads
- small toys (Legos or Barbie accessories)
Sometimes mixing a liquid with the small objects is a great idea. Here are a few liquids that are great for adding to the bottles:
- baby oil
- warm water
- corn syrup
- hair gel
- dish soap
- mineral oil
Kids of all ages love sensory bottles. The ocean in a bottle had a calming effect for young children and the slow movement is a great way to encourage visual stimulation.
Older children enjoy them and as they watch the different things move through the bottle, it strengthens visual tracking which is important for reading.
DIY I-Spy Bottle
A twist on the sensory bottle idea is to make a DIY I-Spy Bottle. I picked a random handful of items and made a copy of them on our printer. Then, I added the items to the bottle along with rice. I taped the picture to the side, but I have also seen it tied to the top like a tag. You can make these with a fun theme for holidays too. Look at the dollar store for small holiday themed items and just add rice.
Sensory play is so important for children. Here are some different ways to add sensory play opportunities at home that are easy to set up!
Of course the mess is the first reason why parents hesitate about sensory play! I’ve been there, I understand. Here are a few Easy Ways to Contain Messy Play.
Water is a great sensory experience. Outside water is easy to add to the fun. Sometimes inside water play can be the perfect activity if it is too cold outside or you are trying to cook dinner. Check out these Inside Water Play Ideas that you and your child will love.
Of course, bath time is a full on sensory experience. Read about our favorite Bath Time Games for Toddlers and try one today.
Dyed pasta or colored rice are popular filler choices for sensory bins. Here’s our step by step directions for how to make colored pasta and rice.